Common Fundraising Pitfalls

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Written By: Marlene Mulligan, formerly Design & Development

Most every organization and every cause feels they need more funding. Some may not be too urgent, maybe in a place where they could do more with more and some realities may be quite urgent and in a place of barley being able to keep up with demand and keep the lights on. Whatever your situation, if you are facing fundraising challenges, its possible your organization may have succumbed to some of these common pitfalls we see among our 500+ members. Continue reading

Building a Fund Development Program for Your Organization

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Written By: Marlene Mulligan, Design & Development

Let’s start here. What is the difference between fundraising and fund development? Fundraising is activities you undertake that garner donations and sponsorship like events, campaigns, grant writing, etc. These are short-term activities.

Fund development, on the other hand, is the strategic planning, coordination and management of fundraising activities so that they directly support your mission and generate reliable funding streams for the long-term viability of your organization. A development program is established with the long term in mind.

This can feel challenging in a context where your funding needs are acute, as they so often are in small and mid-size organizations. Continue reading

The Sky is Falling! What Programs are You Cutting?

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Written By: Marlene Mulligan, Design and Development

“What the…???” Is that your reaction to this title? Yes, I am trying to be provocative, but I’m also serious.

We know what’s coming. And if you don’t, it must be your first rodeo or else you’re in one of the lucky charities that has adequate, stable funding to meet your needs even through an economic downturn. Continue reading

Social Media Used for Good: Twitter

Propellus sent our storyteller, Kim Wright, to Stanford University for the Social Media on Purpose conference.  The conference made for non-profit organizations, to help them learn ways to better engage their community through social media. She came back brimming with insights to share with our members. Continue reading

Meet the Funder: Dani DeBoice – First Calgary Financial

At Propellus, we work to strengthen organizations. We decided that a MEET THE FUNDERS SERIES could help non-profit organizations shed some light on the process of fundraising by turning to funders themselves for some tips and answers. Second on the Meet the Funders series is a conversation with First Calgary Financial’s Dani DeBoice. Continue reading

Template: Prospect Research

A week ago we posted a Case for Support template. Once you have your case for support, you need funder’s to pitch it to – that is where prospect research really comes in handy. Prospect research is how you find different funders who has funding interests that align with your organizations mission, or fund something close to your programs. Continue reading

Template: Case for Support

A “case for support” is the foundation of almost everything that Fund Developers do – from writing grant proposals to creating a fundraising campaign. Making your case for support starts with succinctly answering a few questions – those answers become the backbone to your fundraising strategy.

The answers you provide in the case for support template can be used in many ways. Like a resume or cover letter, you can use these answers in grant requests, just be sure to tailor the request to the organization you are requesting support from. The answers can also be used as a jumping off point for telling your story in a bigger, more compelling way, like Charity Water did here.

If you answer these questions in a succint way, the responses can even form your elevator speech! Spend the most time and energy on questions about the clients you serve or the need for your services and what makes you different.

You can download and fill out there template HERE.

Meet the Funders Series: Burns Memorial Fund

At Propellus, we work to strengthen organizations. We decided that a MEET THE FUNDERS SERIES could help non-profit organizations shed some light on the process of fundraising by turning to funders themselves for some tips and answers. First up on the Meet the Funders series is  a conversation with the Burns Memorial Fund. Continue reading

Top Fund Development Prospecting Tips

Fund Development is in the number one concerns faced by non-profit organizations in Calgary. In the non-profit sector employees tend to wear many hats, the CEO could be doing the finances, and volunteer managers can be doing the work of fund developers or vice versa. Finding sources of funding, which is prospecting, is the first step in fighting this battle.  Continue reading